KABUL, Afghanistan — The NATO-led command stressed Sunday that military operations to secure vast areas of Afghanistan would not be delayed by the ouster of its top commander and mounting casualties.
NATO and US forces are continuing their work as they await the arrival of new commander Gen. David Petraeus. He is taking over from Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was dismissed by President Barack Obama after he and his aides were quoted in Rolling Stone magazine making disparaging remarks about top Obama administration officials.
There has been concern that the leadership shake-up will further slow a push into the volatile south that has already been delayed by weeks in some areas and months in others. But NATO spokesman Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz told reporters in Kabul that the worries are unwarranted and the military is not pausing because of the changes.
"We will not miss a beat in our operations to expand security here in Afghanistan," Blotz said. He added that Petraeus was expected in Kabul in the next seven to 10 days.